Creating a Montage
with Satori PhotoXL 2.2

The following refers to images supplied free with "Digit" magazine - July 99. Tutorial supplied by Spaceward Graphics.

Step 1

Install and launch Satori and then select Open from the File menu. With your Digit #13 CD in your drive find the Cadmium images folder and select pe111014.jpg. this will launch the Load to Layer dialog where you direct (and perform actions on) the incoming bitmap. Accept all the default settings and click OK. Because the incoming bitmap is too large to fit on your screen without scaling the Large File Warning dialog is launched. This explains that images over 1280x920 pixels are best converted to RIR format (Satori native bitmap) since this results in considerably reduced load and render times. Click Convert and set a filename and a path to your local drive where the converted image can be stored. The image will be opened on the Satori desktop. (click on images for a larger view)

Step 2

From the Brushes tab of the Paint Actions palette click the Smudge button to select this preset brush definition. Next click and open the Paint Actions, Size tab and set a Brush Size of 30 pixels. (Note: those users without a pressure sensitive tablet (i.e. using a mouse) should drag the Pressure Slider down to a value of 50% (or less as desired). Start brushing at the top left (or anywhere) and continue until you have smudged the whole image. At any time you can type [Ctrl + Z] to access the interactive Undo Slider. This is a unique, must-see feature of Satori – here you can "rewind" your brush strokes by dragging the Slider Bar to the left. Hey, This is fun! Click OK to confirm the Undo and return to Paint Actions.

Step 3

Another of the joys of Satori is its ability to edit objects at will. From the Edit Toolbar (or from the Edit menu) click Select Top Object (white arrow icon) - this will cause your most recent brush strokes to be selected for editing and a thin white line will along the "spine" of your brush strokes to denote the change of mode – from paint to edit. You may now make alterations to any of the brush parameters such as size, type, color etc. Try a yellow Airbrush or a blue Crayon. If you like (and want to keep) the changes click Finish Selection Edit (on the toolbar or menu) otherwise choose Abort Edit to abort the changes and return to the settings that were current before the object was edited.

Step 4

Once all is happily smudged (or whatever) - it’s time to import a second image. Select Open from the File menu again and choose pe101021.jpg and click OK. Once again the Load To Layer dialog will be displayed (note that the default setting for importing a second image is to direct it to a new, second layer). Accept all defaults and click OK and, as before, select Convert from the Large File Warning dialog and direct the converted file to your local drive. The image will be opened into a second layer.

Step 5

Satori can employ an infinite number of layers each of which may have its own User Mask in addition to Color and Alpha channels. The Composition menu on the Layer List palette enables the layers to be composited using Normal, Multiply, Tint and Shade methods. Using the Layer List palette, you can add layers at will and change their Z-Order (this determines whether a layer is above or below any other layer). You do this by clicking in the grey area next to the layer name in the Layer List thumbnails (this layer should now have a red border indicating it is the current layer) and you click, hold and drag the layer up (or down) in the Layer List to re-order it.

Step 6

Satori also has a range powerful geometry tools – from the Geometry Actions, Shapes tab click the Circle icon (top row, 2nd from left) to select that shape. Geometry objects have many variable parameters that you set – they can be Filled or Outline, can be applied to Color, Mask and Unmask channels. They can be applied to the Alpha channel using Cut or Invert Cut. They can have variable vector Opacity or be set to display images using the tools on the Maps tab. Using the Property tab, Feather and Outline Width values can be set. Using the Shadow tab one or more shadows (or glows or borders) can be set. Using the FX-1 and FX-2 tabs many filters can be applied to the image using the shape selected. Satori offers a range of standard filters (Blur, Sharpen, Emboss etc), the ability to use Photoshop Compatible Plug-ins as well as Satori’s own native filter format - CanvasFX. Many of these CanvasFX filters were installed along with Satori. From the Filters menu at the top of the screen, select CanvasFX to see a roll-out of the choices available. Select Magnify Glass from the list and proceed to draw a circle on the screen – when you finish the shape’s definition, the area where you drew the circle is magnified (within a black border). This is sublime! Clip art that actually works!

Step 7

It now remains for us to composite the two layers (images). From the Geometry Actions, Shapes tab click the Default Ink button to return all geometry parameters to their normal settings. Next go to the Property tab and set a Feather value of 25 for both X and Y – this will give a soft edge to the next shape we create. From the Shapes tab select Cut and then Magic Wand. This will force a change to the Magic Wand/Fill setup tab where you can set the values for the Magic Wand operation – the Magic Wand tool fills portions of a layer based on the color similarities of adjacent pixels. Accept the Normal values (default settings) and click once in the white area near the top right of the image. This will produce an outline shape that corresponds to the values set, but before the Magic Wand object can be added you must first Finish the selection. With the cursor inside the image window, make a Right Button click and select Fill Area Of Pen Down from the menu of options. A Magic Wand object (with Feather and Cut) will be added to the layer and the image of the (smudged) rose will be revealed from the layer beneath.

Step 8

Now that we’ve got this far it would be a good idea to save our work. From the File menu click Save As and type mywork.cvs – saving as a Canvas (cvs) file preserves both resolution independence and the ability to edit objects at a future date simply by re-loading the file and making selections from the Object List. Getting into the habit of saving your work in the Canvas file format has the advantage that you don’t have to update the pixel information every time you close the file as you do with pixel-only systems. But remember, Canvas files do not contain any bitmaps – only references to files on disk that you must retain as they will be needed when you re-open the Canvas file.